Nearly half of new Utah alcohol permits taken

Aug 2 2012 - 1:34pm

SALT LAKE CITY -- State officials say they've given out nearly half of the 90 new alcohol licenses that lawmakers authorized in June after pressure from businesses to lift a limit on the number of available permits.

Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control spokeswoman Vicki Ashby says 40 new licenses were approved in June and July to clear waiting lists those months. Ashby says the department would've had only about a handful to give out without the additional licenses authorized during a special legislative session.

Before the session, all 918 available licenses were taken. Alcohol licenses in Utah are restricted by population quotas.

But the additional licenses are unlikely to satisfy businesses and the hospitality industry that complain that Utah's alcohol laws are draconian and constrain growth.


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